June 20, 2018
When Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, there was an unprecedented allocation of power to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP—previously known as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB), a new federal regulator created under the Act. Not only were a vast number of statutes transferred from other federal regulators, but the Bureau was also vested with new powers. Since then, little effort has been made to assess how these new rulemaking authorities are shaping out, until now.
June 18, 2018
Congress and President Trump recently gave Main Street banks and credit unions some much-need but still modest relief from the mountains of red tape stemming from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Yet, as I have pointed out, some of the most onerous and nonsensical provisions were left untouched.
June 17, 2018
Ever wonder why installations of household solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and utility-scale solar power have surged since 2014? The declining cost of solar technology is part of the reason. But a bigger factor may be the profusion of state and federal “incentive” programs, i.e. subsidies.
June 13, 2018
In CEI’s “Free to Prosper: A Pro-Growth Agenda for the 115th Congress,” my colleagues John Berlau and Iain Murray made the enduring recommendation of bringing accountability to the unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
June 8, 2018
This week, the Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on how it could improve its rulemaking to provide a better regulatory environment both for consumers and the financial industry.
May 25, 2018
Under the letter of the law, banks can now reenter the small-dollar lending space. On Wednesday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued new guidance encouraging banks to offer small-dollar installment loans. This follows the OCC rescinding prior guidance governing “deposit advance” products last year, which effectively enabled banks to offer a payday loan-type products again.
May 22, 2018
This week President Trump signed a resolution of disapproval overturning one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most controversial regulatory actions—the inappropriate application of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to auto-lenders. Axing the rule is both a great day for consumers’ access to credit and the rule of law, as I have detailed previously.
May 16, 2018
Just last week, Congress voted to overturn one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most controversial regulatory actions—a guidance document that was used to bully four major auto lending firms into enormous settlements. Overturning the action, which illegally stretched the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)—an anti-discrimination law—to cover auto finance companies, is certainly a step in the right direction. Yet to date, there has been no Congressional or regulatory action to address the underlying problem with the Bureau’s actions.
May 15, 2018
Today is the 21st anniversary of the initial public offering of a little company called Amazon. Yes, today Amazon is a behemoth, a supposed unbreakable monopoly, but back in 2000 it faced an uncertain future as an online startup going head-to-head with the “big boys” of Borders and Barnes & Noble.
May 8, 2018
Like clockwork, every so often a new member of Congress will rehash an old, tired idea: having the United States Postal Service (USPS) make short-term, “payday” loans. The latest rework comes from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who recently proposed her Postal Banking Act.